5 Common Mistakes All New Veggies Make
1. You're not checking labels
This one applies to both vegetarians and vegans but vegans especially need to be wary of labels. There are animal products being snuck into things you would never guess but the good news is, once you get the hang of it, it's easy to remember what's veg-friendly and what isn't.
2. You're getting defensive
Sometimes I dream about turning to my dining companion who just ordered a steak or some lamb and informing them something-or-other about animal rights or about healthy issues but really, what's that going to achieve?
Refraining from engaging in conversations like that will almost always benefit you. When someone asks why you're a vegetarian, don't preach, keep it short and keep the peace. If someone seems to want to open up an honest dialogue and have you teach them a few things, then they'll let you know.
3. You're being too hard on yourself
You are just a human being so you will make mistakes. Whether you're a new vegetarian who accidentally ate soup made with chicken broth or you're a new vegan who couldn't resist devouring a cheese pizza, don't dwell on it. A diet is not made or broken in one meal.
4. You're not getting in the kitchen
Changing your dietary needs won't be easy if you don't relearn what you had previously known about cooking. When you were young, you learned how to make certain foods and go-to meals with animal products at the front and center and it's all too easy to throw your hands up in the air and declare vegetarian or vegan cooking as 'difficult'. It's not difficult - you just have to relearn the veggie versions of the basics!
5. You're worrying about protein too much
There are two misconceptions when it comes to protein: first that we need meat to get it and second, that we need loads of it to be healthy! Don't worry, wholefood and plant-based protein sources like lentils, whole soy, peanut butter, quinoa, beans and chickpeas are just as good for you! Not only that, but you actually need a lot less protein that you thought.Sumati Menda
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